Gabriel Agbonlahor, former Aston Villa, and England striker announced retirement aged 32 after 13-year long football career.
Gabriel Agbonlahor started off his professional football career in 2005 when he joined Aston Villa. For his club, Agbonlahor accumulated 391 appearances and scored 86 goals, which also makes him the Aston Villa’s record holder with 75 Premier League goals. However, all things come to an end and Gabriel Agbonlahor’s career is no exception. On July 1st, 2018, Gabriel Agbonlahor got released from the club and became a free agent. Ever since, did not join any other club, which ultimately brought him to the decision of retiring and ending his career as a professional footballer. Gabriel Agbonlahor announced his retirement on March 27th, 2019 and had some words to say about the decision and his former club. On his Instagram post, he wrote the following:
“The time has come to officially retire and watch Aston Villa as a fan”
“If I would have been told at school I would play nearly 400 league games, be the record Premier League goalscorer for Aston Villa, captain the great club and represent England at senior level, I would have laughed. I want to say thank you to all the supporters, the staff I have worked with at a great club and my ex-team-mates. The thought of playing for another team or playing against Aston Villa was something I just couldn’t do. I look forward to whatever the future holds.”
In addition to representing Aston Villa, Agbonlahor also represented the English national squad three times, although he could have represented Scotland nor Nigeria due to his ancestry.
On November 15th, 2008, Agbonlahor was called up to Capello’s squad for the match against Germany, where he joined three other Aston Villa players; Ashley Young, Curtis Davies, and Gareth Barry. He did manage to score a goal in that match, however, it was disallowed. Nonetheless, he received high praise from the football legend John Terry, who described Agbonlahor as “a nightmare to play against”.
In 2009, Agbonlahor played for England two more times. The first match took place on February 11th, 2009, when England faced off against Spain. He played for a total of 75 minutes before he got substituted for Carlton Cole. In October the same year, Agbonlahor made his first competitive international appearance, when England faced off against Belarus in 2010 World Cup qualifications. While he did not score a goal England did manage to win the match 3:0.
Agbonlahor career was not as notable as one of the best players in the world, however, there is always something charming about a player, who has played for one club for all of his career. The loyalty to one club is something rare nowadays when money can persuade even the most loyal players to switch club, which is why players like Agbonlahor, Totti, Gerrard, and others are a dying breed. Even after his retirement, Agbonlahor will still be remembered as one of the key players that helped Aston Villa achieve an impressive top 6 Premier League finish for 3 consecutive seasons, from 2007-2010 in addition to being a part of the team who reached the FA Cup finals in 2015 and League Cup finals in 2010.